Biologists say it could be a warning sign of worse things to come


ESCAMBIA COUNTY – Some suspicious fish are worrying anglers and researchers alike.


Red snapper with a skin lesion and fin rot caught by a local commercial fisherman. / Special to the News Journal

They’re reporting seeing a number of fish with lesions and rotting fins.The federal government has said fish caught in the gulf is safe but one local fish merchant isn’t taking any chances.


Dan Thomas/ : “Joe Patti’s owner Frank Patti says he’s not taking any chances, he’s selling this grouper he got from around the Keys. This is snapper he picked up in the Tampa area. This is Spanish Mackerel he got from the Atlantic Ocean. In fact none of the fish he sells here was caught near the area of the oil spill.”

Frank Patti/Joe Patti Seafood Owner: “I’m not ready to sell that fish. I’m sure it’s good. I’m just not ready yet. I’m happy with the way I’m getting it.”

Frank Patti wasn’t surprised when he saw this picture in the Pensacola News Journal. It showed a sick fish with a lesion and odd coloring, things Patti says he’s seen in several species since the BP disaster.

Frank Patti/Joe Patti Seafood Owner: “I’m not going to say the oil caused it. I don’t know what caused it. All I know is, what I got I feel safe selling to my customers.”

Not selling it, even though the federal government has no warnings or restrictions on fish caught anywhere in the gulf. Patti, isn’t so sure he trusts the feds.

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